Tough days, up and down.
Talk goes well, potential investors happy ready to invest. The actual prototype crappy, and cant get use-case. Am I becoming like one of those salesmen, selling crap well. The division which is rife in our traditional economic system. Feels dangerous, morally, personally.
I’ve thrown £10k into the prototype, most of it funding the push up tech legacy because the foundations — both front and back end — are crappy. Foundations cost £3k, the rest is wasted. If I had that £7 in a lump, we could have refactored, improved the design. But instead, it has been trickle funded. Painful. Never want to experience this again. A learning experience. Doubly painful because my financial situation is so bad. Credit cards maxed, overdraft too, and personal loans.
Registered again as a teacher, treated like a criminal, need to prove my innocence, such is the institutional barriers to protect kids. Very depressing. But, started tutoring, and just engaging one young mind, helping them overcome their lack of confidence and navigating their understanding of maths, a real pleasure.
Met with CFO Martin and HFI David and we’ve agreed to mount an approach to hit VC before end of January. Possible use-case with TEDx was looking good, but fell through partly because coders didn’t get their act together, and partly because users didn’t like the prototype. Big ask to use it to track thanks. Demo only.
Did an impromptu conversation which morphed into a pitch. Third investor is interested, and £26k doesn’t seem too much to them. Which means, with Scottish Enterprise grant of £13k confirmed awaiting a further £9k, we will have enough for beta build, and video for call to action to user. And I’ve got a handful of folk who are exploring use-case seriously, David Mc, Omar, Jiveen, and possibly Jamie.
summary & judgement
After a whole year, is this progress? Not much. But given what we are proposing with Ecosquared, we need to be thankful for any progress. It’s like trying to grow a seed in a concrete car park. The most valuable assets we have are the handful of people who have sight of it. And we have a small amount of money to produce a beta. And we have a prototype to demo, grounding what appears to most people to be ‘an idea’.
We stop prototype development. We will never get it to use-case level. It will cost another few thousand, and even then it will be slow, and not intuitive. Hard work, basically.
We have started the beta. First the specifications, checked by UX Designer. Then two foundations, and a full build on one of the foundations. By Spring, we have a finished version which we soft-launch our pioneering partners.
We are starting a tighter business plan to approach a VC for £1/4m, a dragon with the appetite for the next big thing. We won’t have use-case, no traction. It will all be based on the business model, a genuinely new one, fleshed out by potential use-cases mapped out clearly. Their investment will be able to improve the beta, and fund the time required to establish relationships with a higher tier of partners. Will we get Taylor Swift? I doubt it, but with that investment, we can aim high.
reading this now
It’s the end of 2016. What’s the result? Did we manage it? Are we a household name? Is the world different?
The prototype has 0% chance of going viral. The beta perhaps 0.1%. With the VC investment, we may have up to a 10% chance. A 10% chance of growing faster than anything in history, with a financial dimension. No advertising, no additional funding. A new economic in people’s hands. Potentially the fulcrum for global change. A genuine turning point.
That’s all I need to focus on. Nothing else matters.